Human Sexuality’s Hucksters and Grifters
By Judie Brown
The April 30 news that CNN’s news anchor Anderson Cooper has welcomed his baby boy by way of a surrogate pregnancy brought cheers from the media. People magazine reported that Cooper tweeted: “As a gay kid, I never thought it would be possible to have a child, and I’m grateful for all those who have paved the way, and for the doctors and nurses and everyone involved in my son’s birth.”
In the reporting, not a word was said about the ethics of surrogate motherhood nor, of course, about homosexuality. Cooper is a media icon, after all.
This report reminded me of a recent sermon I heard from Fr. Steve Grunow of Word on Fire who celebrates Mass online in these odd days of closed churches and open abortion mills. Fr. Grunow reminded his listeners that, as Catholics, we must heed the warnings contained in Acts 14 when the Apostles told their flock: “We are only human beings, mortal like yourselves. We have come with good news to make you turn from these empty idols to the living God who made sky and earth and the sea and all that these hold.”
Cooper’s story reminds me of this scripture and of the times throughout history where sinful human beings like you and me have elevated practices and people to the level of idols worthy of worship.
Enter the hucksters and the grifters.
According to Webster, hucksters are people who sell “something in an aggressive, dishonest, or annoying way.” They include people who promote sexual behaviors like contraception, promiscuity, and abortion as normal and acceptable.
Grifters are folks “who can influence anybody, anywhere, at anytime, into doing whatever they choose to have them do, that will result in the grifter’s personal gain. Usually monetary, but really anything that benefits him or her somehow.”
In the present case, we can use the word to describe those who convince the adoring public that sexual practices are to be idolized and perfected according to the world’s standards.
Hucksters and grifters detest truth; they reject the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church, and they love the darkness. In simpler times, we would think of these types of people—the forces that have convinced us that contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and all such matters are personal and not subject to God and His will—as evil. In such a climate of deception, it could be that someone like Anderson Cooper is another victim; maybe he never knew the truth. Why?
The hucksters and grifters have had free reign in society for many years. They have gained the moral high ground, so to speak, because our shepherds have fallen into silence.
For example, the Catholic Church teaches that surrogate motherhood “represents an objective failure to meet the obligations of maternal love, of conjugal fidelity and of responsible motherhood; it offends the dignity and the right of the child to be conceived, carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up by his own parents.”
If you didn’t know that, do not feel bad. The pulpits are as silent on this, just as they are on contraception, abortion, and homosexuality. So sadly, into that silence the hucksters and grifters are only too happy to arrive, take up residence, and ply their wares.
At times like this we need to ask the tough questions. Where are the teachers? Where are the preachers? Where is their courage?
The Apostles were met with opposition and misunderstanding wherever they went, yet they exhibited courage: “They were faced with opposition from the religious leaders, and yet they spoke and acted boldly . . . no matter what the cost. They were not concerned with their own lives or of what sort of earthly consequences they might face; they were only concerned with preaching the name of Jesus and serving God. This is an example of real courage.”
We need leaders like that now, today. Dear Bishops, where are you? Please stop allowing the sexual immorality’s hucksters and grifters to destroy souls.
image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr | CC-2.0